Here comes the second part of our sustainable living guide for busy bees. In this article we’ll focus on the clothes that you choose and we’ll give you tips on what to do with the ones that you cannot wear any more for one reason or another. We originally planned to write a joint article about sustainable cosmetics and clothes but we gathered way more information than we expected so we decided to focus this article only on sustainable styling ideas and you’ll get the chance to read more about cosmetics in the next one : )
How do we find beautiful and sustainable clothes?
Before you run to the closest shop, we’d higly recommend you to take a good look at your clothes and accessories at home. Sometimes what you need is exactly right in front of your eyes but it just needs a bit of a makeover. What do we mean? You’ve lost a few centimetres from your waistline or you’ve added some and the clothes that you have cannot highlight the best version of you at the moment? Don’t panic. Take them to a skilful seamstress and wait for the moment of surprise when you’ll get to see how easily he/she has transformed them.
In the beginning of this summer that happened to our Founder Vera as well because she gradually lost 10 kg and decided that her clothes needed a fresh start. After a few meet-ups with her favourite seamstress the situation was under control : )
You have clothes that you don’t really like?
We can offer some advice on that matter, too. We’ll use Vera as an example again because she’s feeding us with information every day :D
So, Vera was a bridesmaid 2 years ago and she had to get a specific dress for the occasion. After the wedding was over that dress was carefully put in the wardrode and…forgotten. Up until this summer when Vera decided to take it for repairs and asked her favourite seamstress to cut it and use the fabric for making a high waisted skirt and a top. The project is still going so we’ll keep you updated on how it unfolds if you’re interested :)
If you’ve torn or stained some clothes and the stain is hard to remove even with our super Marseille soap, then we’d recommend you to do an embroidery over the spot or to glue some beads on it.
Turn the defect into something beautiful and unique ; )
If this experience invokes your creativity, then we can also recommend you our workshop for making your own travel pillow with Bulgarian traditional embroidery.
You’ve got white clothes that you’re tired of?
Use some natural dyes to freshen them up – beetroot, avocado peels, turmeric, etc. make great, sustainable colorants. If you’re worried that something might go wrong in the process, you can always join one of our workshops or even better, we can help you to organise one for your friends and colleagues.
Photo by: Heather Schrock
You’ve got some worn out clothes?
Don’t panic, there is no need to throw them away. If they’re clean and soft, you can turn them into make-up remover pads or shopping bags. You can find plenty of tutorials online or if you don’t feel confident about making them alone, we can always organise a workshop for you : )
Another option is to turn them into scrunchies or if you’ve got cotton fabric, you can use it to make beeswax wraps, there are plenty of tutorials on how to do so online.
If the fabric is too worn out, you can always turn it into yarn which you can later use for making your own basket (we’re offering a workshop on that as well, of course).
If you’ve got a pair of old jeans, you can turn them into a cool bag or backpack like our friends from Lila Indy Upcycling.
Photo by: Lila Indy Upcycling
If you’ve got some unused buttons, sewing meters and more, you can always turn them into earrings like these beauties made by the amazing Lila Indy Upcycling.
Photo by: Lila Indy Upcycling
And if you still don’t really like something after you’ve freshened it up or if you don’t feel like spending time on repairs, you can always give your clothes/accessories to friends or donate them to a person in need. Avoid giving clothes for recycling because according to EPA (Environmental Protection Agency USA) 2017, only 15% of the clothes given for recycling worldwide are actually being recycled. That is because our clothes just like a lot of other products are made of different materials combined together. For example, a pair of jeans is made of cotton fabric blended with elasthane, the zipper and buttons are metal and often the jeans' side stitches are made of polyesther. In order for clothes to be recycled, all of these materials need to be separated which is a difficult and not very financially feasible process so only a few companies bother with that worldwide.
Recycling is not the best option but how about upcycling?
Upcycling is amazing, go for it! Apart from the above mentioned clothes repair ideas over here we’ll write down some more upcycling ideas for items lingering at home.
If you happen to have some plastic bags lying around, turn them into jewelry. The Sustainable Development Club of Sofia University – Uneco had a campaign for collecting plastic bags which they later turned into beautiful earrings, bags and baskets with the help of local brands such as Pletko, Dame Bijou and Baba Mravka.
Photo by: Uneco Eco Club
If you’ve accumulated a lot of glass jars, you can engrave them. A bonus tip – that’s a decorative technique that lasts forever so think carefully about what you’re going to put on your jar : )
Photo by: Personalized Engraved Gifts
If you’ve got a lot of glass bottles lying at home, you can freshen them up with paint and turn them into beautiful flower vases, same applies to old, non-functioning light bulbs which you can turn into Christmas tree toys.
Photo by: Atelier Trion
If you often get coffee in metal tins, you can use them as pencil holders – they’re longlasting and can stand a fall or few ; )
What are your upcycling tips and tricks? We'd love to find out so please let us know with a comment below.
That was all from us for now, lovelies, keep tabs on our page for part 3 of the article because it’s coming very soon.